The Super Bowl halftime performer does not want his son ever playing football.
Justin Timberlake, 37, said on Thursday that his 2-year-old son Silas will never play football, during a press conference to promote Sunday’s Super Bowl LII halftime show.
“Uh, he will never play football,” Timberlake said. “No, no.”
The question came after Timberlake, 37, joked that he would be ready to put the pads on if the New England Patriots needed an extra receiver.
“I mean, yeah, it’s kind of like that thing where my main objective is that he become a great person. And if he wants to get into the arts or sports, then yeah, I would fully support that,” he added. “I think I can hopefully offer him some advice on what to do and what not to do, so yeah, but right now we’re working on our manners. That’s a big deal in our house right now. It’s like, one thing at a time.”
His initial response, however, was just another indictment on football and the danger that comes with playing the sport.
The NFL has come under much scrutiny in recent years for its handling of concussions and the emergence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease resulting from blows to the head in many deceased players.
Prior to the start of the season, researchers discovered that 110 of 111 donated brains of deceased players they examined had CTE. Last week, lawmakers in New York and Illinois introduced legislation that would ban children under the age of 12 from playing football.
The NFL recently released that concussions were up this season, too, with 38 more reported concussions than in 2016 yet the league says 47% of those were self-reported, an increase from the 28% of self-reported concussions a year ago.
A request for comment from the NFL on Timberlake’s remarks was not immediately returned.
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Timberlake will be performing in the Super Bowl for the first time in 14 years since the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” incident.
Timberlake said this year’s show will be family-friendly.
“We’re going to take it seriously that we want everyone to have a ton of fun,” he said. “That’s my main objective with the halftime show.”